Mac in the enterprise: a CIO’s perspective by the numbers

Fletcher Previn, SVP and CIO at Cisco, returned to JNUC to enlighten us about Cisco’s employee choice program, Previn presents data gathered from Cisco’s workforce of 130,000 people over the 12 months of the program, diving into the impact the program had on their employees’ happiness and performance, IT department and security strength of the business. Watch the presentation below.

September 20 2023 by

Hannah Hamilton

Cisco’s IT department recently enhanced its employee choice program to provide Cisco employees with a tailored choice experience offering PC and Mac, with an improved offering experience for Linux set to deploy later this year. A year after the reimagined program commenced, Cisco’s IT department conducted an analysis to better understand the impact of employee choice on the wider organization. The study was conducted by analyzing internal company data from Cisco’s workforce of over 130,000 people spanning 99 different countries.

Cisco SVP and CIO Fletcher Previn returned to JNUC again this year to discuss this program. Previn is no stranger to employee choice programs, now having led two of the largest Mac-in-the-enterprise programs at IBM and Cisco. This year, he presented impactful stats on how employee choice impacts both employees AND the business, and offered insight about the benefits and challenges these initiatives bring to the organization.

Employee choice, employee gain

When we purchase our personal phones or computers, we select the devices based on our personal preferences — do we like the look and feel, the performance abilities, the integration with other devices we use, etc. Liking the devices you use everyday can impact how much and how well you interact with them. This idea is at the heart of employee choice.

When given the choice at Cisco, it appears many employees at Cisco are going Mac… and not looking back. When given the choice between Mac or PC, 60% of Cisco employees use Mac today, with 24% switching to Mac from PC at device refresh. This momentum of Mac in the enterprise is not new — IDC just released a new study predicting the same shift.

So if you give an employee the opportunity to work on their preferred device, they should be happy — but are they actually more productive? With a Mac, businesses can achieve remarkable gains in productivity. Cisco's internal analysis indicates that 33% fewer IT admins are required to support staff using Mac compared to PC. But it wasn’t just IT reaping these gains. Cisco data showed increases in other employee successes: sales teams using Mac outperform their PC counterparts with a 9.8% increase in deal creation, 10.9% surge in bookings and 9.9% acceleration in deal closure. And software engineers push out nearly 11.5% more code when using a Mac.

Cisco employees using Apple are also happier with their overall IT satisfaction. Users with both Mac and iPhone — taking advantage of the whole powerful Apple ecosystem — had a 83% satisfaction rate with IT support.

The business side of employee choice: improved security and cost savings

It’s not just worker productivity, happiness and satisfaction that are boosted by employee choice — there are other real benefits for the business as well.

The data reports that:

  • Mac users experience almost 5 times fewer cyber threats, and 9 times fewer virus issues than PCs, based on Cisco’s Secure Endpoint detection software.
  • 89% of Mac users leverage biometrics compared to 29% of PC users, a known boost to security.
  • The streamlined upgrade process for macOS Ventura, which took just one month compared to the six-month timeline for Windows 11, demonstrates Mac's agility in adapting to new technology.

While Mac’s higher upfront cost is a concern for organizations when allocating employee devices, Cisco found that Mac was actually $148-$395 less expensive over three years, depending on the model.

In conclusion

Previn sings the praises of the addition of Mac at Cisco, with a first-hand “increase in security and productivity” from employees that choose Apple. Cisco aims to reimagine the Mac experience to “support, engage and empower employees to do their best work,” with Jamf by their side to support the program.

Open-source TCO calculator

Are you curious how Cisco evaluated its employee choice program? Cisco IT developed and leveraged an in-house Total Cost Ownership (TCO) calculator used to analyze key components of the program from a cost standpoint. Cisco’s Device Experience team developed and released an open-source TCO calculator to the industry. This tool is how Cisco calculates its own TCO for Mac and Windows. The team members who built the open-source TCO calculator used their experience building device TCO calculators for three large enterprises with over 100K devices each. The team created an open-source version to share this tool with the community to help others do the same.

View the open-source TCO calculator.

In conclusion

“At Cisco, we are reimagining the Mac experience to support, engage, and empower employees to do their best work, and we appreciate offerings like Jamf Pro as we’ve rolled out our robust employee choice program to our global, hybrid workforce.”

— Fletcher Previn, Chief Information Officer of Cisco.

Previn’s mission for Cisco IT is to empower Cisco’s workforce to do the best work of their lives. The data shows that the enhanced Mac@Cisco program and overall reimagined employee choice programs boost employee satisfaction while increasing security and productivity.

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